Solidarity And Courage: How The Residents Of Manchester Are Rallying To Help

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by Anna Brech |
Published on

It's a terrible moment when you realise a suicide attack has happened on your doorstep.

But amid the horror of last night's Manchester Arena blast that left 22 people dead, heart-warming stories of generosity are beginning to emerge.

The people of Manchester have rallied in a moving show of solidarity to support the crowds of young fans left distraught in the aftermath of the attack at an Ariana Grande concert.

The explosion ripped through the foyer of the stadium at around 10.30pm last night, as thousands of teens and children streamed out of the show.

Scores of youngsters were left injured or missing in the terror incident.

Hotel workers, taxi drivers and local residents worked through the night to provide shelter and comfort to those affected by the attack.

Here's how they pulled together to help out:

1. An open doors policy

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21,000 fans - many in their teens or younger - were caught up in yesterday's attack ©Getty

As Grazia reports here, those living in Manchester - including families and students - were quick to offer up their homes to those in need in the early hours of last night.

Concerned residents offered cups of tea, sofas, wi-fi access, phone chargers and a shoulder to cry on for the hundreds of disorientated and traumatised youngsters caught up in the attack - many of whom had become separated from their families in the ensuing chaos.

Venues and hotels near to the stadium followed suit, with the Holiday Inn close to Manchester Arena providing blankets and drinks to around 60 concert-goers at one point.

Local resident Paula Robinson wrote on Facebook: “We have got about 50 kids with us waiting to be picked up, they are safe, we will look after them.

"Please re post for any parents with children – we have taken as many kids as we can to Holiday Inn."

Other Mancunians handed out bottles of water, as bars and restaurants offered free food.

2. Free taxi rides

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AJ Singh, a Sikh taxi driver, was one of the many cabbies to offer free rides last night ©Twitter

"Manchester, we’re glue. We stick together when it counts," AJ Singh (pictured above), who offered free lifts to blast victims, tells Channel 4 News.

AJ and many other Manchester taxi drivers did not hesitate to give free lifts around the city to anyone who needed them, including children separated from their parents.

Many cabbies headed to the stadium as news of the attack spread just after 10.30pm last night.

They provided free rides to those escaping the stampede, and drove the walking wounded to A&E departments.

Transport services were on lockdown after the attack and roads were blocked by emergency vehicles, making the taxi drivers' role crucial.

Many of the 21,000 young people who attended the Ariana Grande concert came from outside the city - so the attack left them even more stranded and disorientated.

The city's taxi drivers worked to make sure they were cared for.

3. Donating blood

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The residents of Manchester are flocking to donor centres ©Twitter

With hospitals in the area inundated by casualties with shrapnel injuries, blood donations were key.

Again, the good people of Manchester rose to the occasion by tweeting the locations and opening hours of blood donor centres across the city.

They encouraged each other to give blood and shared information on the type of blood needed.

In fact, so many people responded that Give Blood NHS say they no longer needed donations for now. They hailed those who came forward as "life savers".

4. Spreading the word on missing youngsters

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©Twitter

The blast triggered a stampede in the stadium and transport services were shut down shortly after, meaning many children were left stranded from their families.

Manchester locals have rallied around frantic parents appealing for help to find their missing sons and daughters missing.

Thousands of Mancunians have re-tweeted information on missing youngsters, under the hashtag #MissingInManchester.

Friends and families were also reunited thanks to people spreading the word and answering pleas on social media:

Facebook set up a Safety Check in the area, and authorities organised an emergency helpline on 0161 856 9400.

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The people of Manchester have demonstrated the power of generosity ©Getty

All these selfless acts and more provide some much-needed faith in humanity. In the face of unimaginable terror, it's heartening to see people unite with extraordinary shows of kindness and love.

"Taxis offering free rides, children taken in by hotels, people offering tea in their flats," wrote one person on Twitter. "Manchester, I am so proud to call you home."

"Free accommodation, free taxis, free food for those in need, another said. "The people of Manchester are truly unbelievable."

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